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FAMILY VIOLENCE isn’t one act committed by one person. Communities, Governments, and friends can all be contributors to Family Violence. It wasn’t until 1983 that Canadian law outlawed marital rape [1]. “Family violence is more than just beating a partner or child. It’s the abuse of power to harm or control a person who was or is a family member.”[2] The Alberta Government now recognizes NOVEMBER AS FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION MONTH which replicates a campaign that was started in Hinton in 1986 [3]. So for the month of November we’ll be posting stories that hopefully help identify family violence so that communities are able to recognize there contribution to violence and find ways to end the abuse.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Government Makes Family Violence Excusable

Criminalizing Abortion or any Contraception excuses abusing women. Perpetrators (father, brother, mother, aunt, grandmother) can say they were just trying to protect their future “child”.

Criminalizing Pre-Natal Drug Use excuses perpetrators abusing women.  A father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, cousin, grandmother can say they were only acting in the interest of the “child”. They can dismiss a woman’s feelings claiming she was too high, too drunk or too caffeinated.

Categorizing Homosexuality or Transgendered as a Disease grants fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts or cousins an excuse for abusing someone in their family. If an abuser believes they can provide a “cure” they’ll be seen as only trying to save their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts or cousins.

Criminalizing Marriage Fraud and prescribing minimum sentences, such as 2 years, of marriage before granting full immigration status to a woman, excuses abusing women and makes it difficult for a woman to report abuse. An abuser can threaten a woman that if she doesn’t “act like a wife” she’ll be deported.  What a wife does or acts like will be controlled by the abuser.
~Anna Joy

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